Sunday, September 7, 2014

First Week in the Mission Field

Friends and Family!

Wow! I am actually in the mission field! I have been here for a week and wow it is so crazy! My companion is Hermana Altamirano! She is fantastic! From Peru and goes home in December! She can understand and speak pretty good English, so it is way helpful. But there is definitely a language barrier. We are in El Parque! It is about 45 minutes from Santiago, but is still considered Santiago. It is pretty awesome! The people are so great here and I have loved it! It is a completely different world here. I don't even know how to describe it. I have never been anywhere like it. People are in very humble circumstances here. There is graffiti everywhere and some streets have houses made out of tin and have no electricity. It is very different. The church building is definitely the nicest place in the entire area.

Hm, where to begin? My last week in the CCM was great! I went on splits to the Santiago Sur mission! We went to a city called Ciudad de NiƱos. It was a lot different than this area too! Way poorer. I was really sad to say goodbye to my district when we got our trainers on Tuesday. They were definitely like my family. But I can't get over how great it is! It is super hard here. I cannot speak Spanish at all... But it's ok! I can usually get my point across. And during lessons I teach a point as well as I can and then my companion explains it more. It works pretty well. Each day gets better and better.

We live in an apartment building, on the 10th floor. It is so great! I wake up every morning and study. And I look out the window and see the beautiful Andes! They are gorgeous! I can't get over how pretty of a country this is. I love this area. The ward members are fantastic! Everyone is super nice about my Spanish. There are some members who speak and I have no idea what they are saying. And then others speak and I can understand almost everything. My companion said it took her a couple months to understand the sueper Chilean Spanish.. and she is from Peru! They just speak super badly sometimes haha. I live in an apartment with my companion and one other companionship. They are in the same ward with us. They are Hermanas Chavez and Leishman. Hermana Leishman is from Lehi! She graduated a year before me. 

I am getting accustomed to everything. I have definitely been humbled this week. I feel pretty unintelligent a lot. It is something I had never really experienced before. I feel frustrated that I cannot even express my feelings the way I want to. But it is ok. I am relying on my Heavenly Father more than I ever have before. It is a learning experience and I am grateful for it. I love being a missionary! I love teaching people! We have a baptism on September 14. A woman named Nayibe is getting baptized. Her husband Rodrigo got baptized in April and she couldn't because she was pregnant. But she had her baby and can get baptized now. She is the sweetest. Their family is from Columbia and they are just great! We also got 2 more dates for baptism. Elsa and Carlita, a mother and daughter. We taught them the first lesson and felt inspired to invite them to be baptized on October 12 and they said yes! I am so excited to continue teaching them and help them prepare. This is a wonderful area. There is so much work to do!

Sorry this was such a crazy long letter! So much has happened! Oh, and today was my first Pday! We made Peruvian food and it was so good! Fried Sweet Potatoes, pesto pasta, and some super good meat. I love the food here. Some isn't my favorite.. But I have been able to eat everything. 

Hermana Flake

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